My inspiration for this blog is two-fold. One motivating factor has to do with the amazing screenwriter, producer, and author Shonda Rhimes. Between her hectic work schedule and her extreme shyness, she rarely made time for fun. In her book, Year of Yes, Shonda declared that for one year she would make the conscious decision to say “yes” to everything that she’d normally say “no” to automatically. Whatever she thought scared her, intimidated her, or bored her — she would say “yes” to. During the course of that year, she experienced a transformation that she didn’t expect. It changed her life.
The other motivating factor, and perhaps most importantly, is the death of my mother. My mom was one of those people who had put off so many goals and dreams, waiting for retirement. Then, she would finally have the free time to take art classes, volunteer, travel, and spend more time with her grandchildren. As a retiree, she’d finally be able to live life on her terms. Or so she thought. My mother retired in January 2013, was diagnosed with cancer in June 2013, and died in August 2014. None of her long-held aspirations were ever realized. Not one. I don’t want to fall into the same trap, thinking that I have infinite time to do all the things that I want to do and go to all the places I want to go. I know now, more than ever, that life can end in an instant.
So, here’s the plan. I’m embarking on 52 weeks of YES. Every week, I will say “yes” to at least one new experience — no matter how big or small. I’ve decided to document my efforts in this blog to keep me honest and hold myself accountable. In fact, to keep myself real honest, I’ll be including “receipts” in the form of photos and video. I’m not gonna lie. This won’t be easy. I’m a comfort zone, stay in my lane, kick-my-feet-up-and-watch-TV kind of girl with my free time. Pursuing 52 new experiences in 52 weeks is gonna be a stretch for me.
I thought it appropriate to launch this little adventure on the 4th of July*. Independence Day. In a way, this is like a declaration of my own independence from the status quo, fear, procrastination — pretty much anything that threatens to hold me back from living life to the full.
So, what’s my new experience gonna be this week? You’ll just have to stay tuned and see… Hint: It involves height and speed.
“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” — Benjamin Yee
*For some reason, the date stamp is incorrect for this post. Actually posted on July 4th, not July 5th.